The Count of Monte Cristo
How we cite our quotes:
The abbé lowered the green shade and said: "Now, Monsieur, I am listening. Speak."
"I am coming to the point. Do you know the Count of Monte Cristo?"
"I suppose you are speaking of Monsieur Zaccone?"
"Zaccone! So he is not called Monte Cristo!"
"Monte Cristo is the name of an island, or rather of a rock, not of a family."
"Very well. Let's not argue about the words. So, since Monsieur de Monte Cristo and Monsieur Zaccone are the same man…"
"Absolutely the same." (69.34-39)
Edmond, who has taken on the role of Monte Cristo but is in disguise, talks about one of his other aliases, and fabricates a new identity for his fictional count, all in order to throw off one investigator. It's a thing of beauty, really.
"To me, a good servant is one over whom I have the power of life and death."
"And do you have the power of life and death over Bertuccio?" Albert asked.
"Yes," the count said curtly. Some words end a conversation like a steel door falling. The count's "Yes" was one of those words. (85.119-120)
The power over life and death is definitely the ultimate form of control. That Edmond should need to have it over every servant speaks to his exacting (and ruthless) nature.
"Suppose that the Lord God, after creating the world, after fertilizing the void, had stopped one-third of the way through His creation to spare an angel the tears that our crimes would one day bring to His immortal eyes. Suppose that, having prepared everything, kneaded everything, seeded everything, at the moment when He was about to admire his work, God had extinguished the sun and with His foot dashed the world into eternal night, then you will have some idea…Or, rather, no…No, even then you cannot have any idea of what I am losing by losing my life at this moment." (89.71)
Edmond goes beyond describing himself as a controller or a manipulator and casts himself as a creator. And not just any creator, mind you, but God.